Our Latest Blogs

Why Teens and Young Adults Need to Express Their Identity (And Why You Don’t Need to Worry)

happy friends in day-glo room

Finding an identity is an essential part of growing up. It’s something all adolescents and young adults go through as they become more and more aware of themselves and their place in the world. Also, the experience of finding identity can shape how well-adjusted teens become as they move into adulthood. If the process isn’t […]

How to Help Kids Dealing with Depression and Suicidal Thoughts

sad teen at school

Depression is difficult for anyone, but perhaps even more so for children who lack the ability to seek solutions for themselves. As a parent, it is your difficult but crucial responsibility to help see them through. Everybody’s experience with depression is unique to them. There are many factors that can cause clinical depression in kids […]

The Parenting Backpack: Middle School and Mental Health

girl with black backpack

Last spring, there were two suicides in the high-achieving Connecticut town where I live. They were separate tragedies, one involving a twelfth grader, the other a tenth grader. It rocked us all, especially the classmates of these young people. We need not know what drove them to their last desperate act. It is not our […]

Tips for Maintaining Connection When Correcting Your Children

As a parent, nothing is more exciting than having your children thrive in life. Parenting is not easy; it takes time, patience, and know-how. One of the things most parents desire is to have their children listen to them. For parents and kids alike, there can be challenges related to listening to each other. However, […]

Tech Safety Tips for Parents: Protect the Mental Wellbeing of Your Children

Technology is a double-edged sword for parents. The internet and smart devices can be great learning tools. Yet, online bullying and the presence of various online predators make these tools potentially dangerous and damaging to young minds. What we know: There are links between excessive internet and social media use and lower self-esteem in children. […]

How Can You Promote Positive Body Image for Your Teens at Home?

You’ve overheard your teenage daughter saying she wants to lose weight. Maybe she’s spent too much time scrolling through content from influencers on Instagram. Or perhaps a comment you made about another person’s body stuck with her. In today’s world, teens are inundated with messages about how they should look online. Yet, their perception of […]

How Postpartum Issues Affect Your Mental Health

Although giving birth is usually a joyous occasion, pregnancy, delivery, and aftercare strain the mother’s body physically and mentally. While you may want to smile and cuddle your little one, cherishing the happy moments, the mind may signal other feelings: triggering sadness, nervousness, and fear. These upsetting emotions interfere with your health and are often […]

Suicide Pacts: What Parents Need to Know

If you’re the parent of a teenager, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of suicide pacts. Suicide pacts are when two or more people make a plan to kill themselves together. Pacts can be made via text message, social media, or in person. Suicides enacted as part of a pact are more likely to be […]

How Can You Support a Loved One With a Mental Illness?

Watching a loved one struggle with a mental illness can be difficult and heart-wrenching. Many people don’t know what to do and how to best help that loved one during these trying times. Sometimes, good intentions go awry and what we think will help ultimately does more harm than good. Every person is different, each […]

The Role of Discipline and Punishment in the Four Parenting Styles

It can be incredibly challenging for parents to determine the best approach to childrearing in certain situations. You may wonder if your way of parenting is too harsh and strict or if you are not enforcing enough boundaries or consequences. Many of these tendencies are encompassed by the four basic parenting styles. This article will […]

The Link Between a Children’s Development and Mental Health: Symptoms and Treatment of Children’s Mental Health Disorders

Experiences are like bricks that lay the foundation of children’s mental health. If the bricks are weak, they will never sustain the pressure and weight. Thus, the building is at risk of collapsing. Just like that, traumatic childhood experiences destabilize the foundation of children’s mental health, leading to serious problems later in life. How Do […]

Top Ways to Develop and Improve Children’s Mental Health

guest-author_Sourodip-Biswas

Children’s mental health is as important as their physical and emotional wellbeing. Children aren’t always as happy-go-lucky as you may think. They have valid worries, fears, and insecurities that you may need to help them through. Balanced diets, regular exercises, and helping out with their school work will surely improve your kid’s physical health, but […]

How to Tell Your Parents You Need Therapy

concerned mother and teen daughter.

Teen Mental Health According to the National Alliance of Mental Health, nearly 20% of teens live with a mental health condition, 11% suffer from mood disorders, and 8% have some kind of anxiety disorder. Teens today face a completely different set of challenges from what their parents faced. The age of social media and online […]

An Urgent Response to the Teen Mental Health Crisis

sad teen with smartphone

Teens are suffering an increase in anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and suicidal ideation due to the isolation and loss of structure the pandemic created. Rates were high before the pandemic… now, they are higher. The statistics reported by many credible peer-reviewed studies from around the spectrum of the mental health community are staggering. Teens are […]

Why Mental Health Awareness Should Be Taught in Schools

children in diverse classroom

According to statistics, 20% of adolescents may experience a mental health problem. Additionally, 70% of children and teens get no help with their mental health problems at a sufficiently early age. Mental health issues are becoming more common in children and adolescents in the US. Thus children and adolescents should learn about mental health in […]

How Family Mental Health Affects Child Development

mother and small child

Parenthood is not easy, and parents can often find themselves feeling overwhelmed and stressed. Children pick up on the emotional distress their caregivers may be experiencing, and like a sponge, they absorb these emotions. This can cause developmental issues if left unaddressed. Loving relationships with caring, responsible adults are essential to a child’s upbringing and […]

Raising Our Teens with ADHD: Take a Deep Breath

jumping teens

I had a major win last week. My young adult child planned to get up early for her summer job.  Watching her make choices the night before gave me that familiar sinking feeling in my gut.  Should I say something while she stays up chatting with friends well into the night?  Should I step back […]

4 Signs of Social Anxiety in Teens that Every Parent Should Know

shy Asian youth with glasses.

Social anxiety disorder (SAD) refers to feelings of fear and anxiety that prevent individuals from experiencing everyday social interactions to the fullest. Social anxiety can occur during many stages of a person’s life, but prevalence rates are highest between the ages of 13 and 18. Social anxiety can be difficult to identify for many parents […]

5 Strategies for Talking to Your Kids About Mental Health Therapy

mother and daughter on bed

One of the most common challenges I encounter in my private practice is the stigma around mental health.  Parents frequently struggle with how best to discuss therapy with their children.  Maybe you are worried that your kid will refuse to go to therapy or that she will not engage with the therapist once she is […]

The Importance of Building Strong Family Relationships for Children

black family having fun time

If you have rock-solid family relationships, you can walk through all challenges of life. It is always a joy to come home to a positive, supportive family. Strong family relationships are crucial for proper child development, happiness, and success. What is the greater value of bonds within a family? How can you nurture positive, healthy […]

Back-to-School Anxiety: How Students – and Schools – Can Manage Mental Health When Returning to In-Person Learning

masked children at school.

Shopping for school supplies and new clothes used to get kids excited to go back to school. Now they may dread the idea of sitting in a classroom all day because they’ve adjusted to virtual learning.  Ongoing COVID-19 concerns can make returning to school seem scary. No one should walk into school with a cloud […]

Caregiver Burnout: How to Extend Support to Those Who Care for Others

wheelchair user and caregiver in sunlit field

My once able-bodied grandfather was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. The decline was sharp and sudden. His bodily functions and memory are gradually failing. But this story isn’t about my grandfather and the cruel reality of those afflicted with Parkinson’s disease. Rather, it’s about the daily stresses my father has to deal with as his primary caregiver. […]

Anxiety Disorders in Children: Diagnosis, Types, and Treatment

young girl running

Detection of Anxiety Disorders in a Child All children are afraid of something. If the feeling of fear passes quickly, there is nothing wrong with it. But when it lasts for some time, interfering with all aspects of life, parents need to give close attention to it. Detecting anxiety disorders at an early stage is […]

Signs Your Child May Be Struggling with Anxiety and What She/He Needs from You

anxious girl

The moment I found out I was pregnant with my firstborn, I was elated. After seeing the positive sign on the pregnancy test, like many first-time moms, I immediately envisioned the type of child I would have and the kind of parent I was going to be. My expectations were all very positive, and I […]

Helping Children with ADHD Focus Without Medication: 7 Tips for Parents

hispanic father and child reading in bed

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a mental health condition that causes abnormally high levels of activity and impulsiveness. It is usually diagnosed at around seven years of age. It can also occur in adults, but because symptoms typically appear between ages three and six, parents and medical practitioners tend to catch it early. For many families, […]

Keeping Your Marriage Strong while Navigating Your Child’s Mental Health Disorder

couple holding hands

There is no way to sugarcoat that parenting a child with a mental health disorder (such as anxiety, OCD, depression, etc.) puts a significant strain on one’s marriage. This can occur for many reasons. First, the mental health issue can be exhausting for parents. Tears, meltdowns, tantrums, and obsessive rituals can become so time-consuming and […]

How to Care for the Family Caregiver

thank you note with flowers in background

There are over 43 million unpaid caregivers in the U.S., which means you probably know someone caring for a family member, either within your own family or in your circle of friends. Caring for an elderly or disabled family member is one of the most rewarding parts of many people’s lives, but it can also […]

Addiction and Mental Illness in the Family: 5 Guiding Principles for Reclaiming Hope

black women hugging

Family connections are usually our closest relationships in life and have the greatest impact on our well-being. When a family member suffers from the disease of addiction or mental illness – everyone in that family suffers. Our thoughts can quickly become consumed with worry and anxiety due to both the illness and the challenges our […]

How Parent Coaching Helped Me during a Family Mental Health Crisis

older couple holding hands

On December 18, 2020, I wrote a blog on this website called A Parents Journey.  It was about the experience I had helping my daughter manage through her mental illness crisis, which became our family’s crisis. Initially, my wife and I believed that if we found the right therapy for her, they would rehabilitate her, […]

Caring for a Child with Anxiety: Avoiding Caregiver Burnout

mother and anxious child

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, one in eight children is diagnosed with an anxiety disorder (Boyle, 2016, p 520). Anxiety affects many aspects of children’s lives. It will appear in their thought processes, causing them to believe they are in constant danger or under a constant threat. Anxiety manifests itself in […]

The Importance of Mental Health for Children and Teens

black child jumping on bed

It might sound like a cliché, but youth really are the future. Unfortunately, it seems that mental health issues are on the rise among children and teens. All over the world, more and more young people are reporting issues with mental health. According to mental health experts Cheree Ashely, Founder of Bright Future Recovery, the […]

Does Your Child Have Separation Anxiety? Here Are Some Tips

mother hugging crying child

If your mornings are fraught with a crying child, panicked screams, clinging arms — this article is for you. Whether it’s your child’s first time in a classroom or this is an annual occurrence, separation anxiety can make every day a challenge. Families struggling with these morning rituals may feel as if there’s no hope, […]

In Support of Less Childhood Stress

stressed out teen

Today’s children and teens experience a great deal of stress and anxiety. From academic pressures to negative self-images, modern-day children take on a lot. Parents must learn how to recognize, understand, and support a stressed child. Parents and caregivers must learn to recognize the telltale signs of stress and anxiety. They should keep in mind […]

A Parent’s Journey: How Wilderness Therapy Made the Crucial Difference for a Family Impacted by Mental Illness

walking in the woods

At 3 am on January 18, 2018, a cold winter’s night when most everyone was fast asleep, my wife and I were wide awake. Our then 17-year-old daughter, Audrey, was about to be abruptly woken up and transported by a third party to a wilderness therapy program.  She had no idea this was about to […]

How the Christmas Season Can Improve Mental Wellbeing in Children

black family at christmas dinner

For many, Christmas is a time for celebration, eating, drinking, and spending the festive period with loved ones. From a child’s perspective, nothing compares to the joy that comes from the season. The magic, fun, and presents all add to the experience. The nostalgia we feel as adults is all constructed from our formative years. […]

How Parents Can Help Children with Autism Make Sense of Their World

mother and child with painted faces

Life is an interesting experience that comes with many challenges but also with wonderful, magical moments. Being a parent captures perfectly how beautiful and challenging life can be. Only when you become a mother or father will you truly know what genuine joy and responsibility are. Parenthood is difficult because there’s no manual or guide […]

Bipolar Disorder in Teens: A Guide for Parents

mother and troubled teen

Parenting has always been a challenge, but times have changed, and although we have more technological tools than we could ever have dreamed of, it seems as though raising teens has become even harder. In recent years, the number of teens diagnosed with bipolar disorder has increased dramatically. Previously, it was rare for young people […]

Supporting Loved Ones with Mental Illness: Care For The Caregiver

supportive hand on shoulder

When someone suffers from a serious mental health disorder, family caregivers are also affected. It’s difficult to witness a loved one struggling with mental illness. Family caregivers go through a range of powerful, often unpleasant emotions. The stressful experience of looking after someone with extreme mental health problems may trigger emotional and behavioral distress in […]

Unshielding Your Anxious Child: Why Having Anxious Children Face Their Fears Is Best

kids go swimming

Anxiety disorders, according to large studies, are by far the most prevalent psychiatric disorder in children in the United States. Parenting an anxious child, particularly if you are also an anxious parent, can be incredibly heart-wrenching. As a parent, you instinctually want to protect your children from harm and hardship. You baby-proof your home, purchase […]

Signs of Anxiety in Young Kids

anxious child

Everyone experiences anxiety – it’s a natural response to certain stressors. Anxiety disorders, on the other hand, are characterized by frequent, intense, excessive anxiety. It’s important to note that it’s not uncommon to see signs of anxiety in children regardless of whether or not they have an anxiety disorder. Because children (especially young children) don’t […]

How Your Teen with OCD Can Use a Calendar to Survive the Coronavirus Shutdown

daily planning calendar

Given that teens with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and anxiety disorders crave control, repetitive daily routines, and certainty, COVID-19 and the disruptions caused by stay-at-home orders and school closings present some serious challenges.  As a person with OCD myself, I can say I have had to adapt and put into place strategies that are specific to […]

5 Tips to Maintain Your Mental Health as a New Mom

new mother and baby

As you move through each trimester of your pregnancy, you and your doctor will focus on many aspects of your physical health. You’ll monitor your blood pressure, heart rate, and weight to make sure you’re progressing without any medical problems. You’ll also keep an eye on any chronic conditions, such as diabetes or heart issues […]

Parenting with a Mental Illness – My Lessons Learned

father playing with kids

I have a major mental illness and I’m a parent. These two things do not have to be incompatible with each other. According to the stigmatizing stereotypes, I should be destitute and unable to maintain relationships. In reality, I’m married and have a daughter, 11, and son, 10. I have a great relationship with all […]

How to Help Your Resistant Child (Teen to Young Adult) Accept Substance Abuse/Psychiatric Help

resistant child

Part One (of a two part series) – Inside the Illness When someone has a serious psychiatric illness, one of the most difficult aspects of the condition is that most sufferers cannot see the true extent of their symptoms. Some cannot see that they have symptoms at all, and instead project blame for their distress […]

How Do I Help My Child or Loved One Engage with Therapy?

sad girl

As a therapist, one of the most common issues that parents and family members ask me about their loved one is “how can we make him/her come to therapy?” I would like to share some thoughts and ideas about this. The short answer is, “You can’t!” Every adult has the right to consent to treatment, […]

4 Reasons Why It’s a Good Idea to Speak Openly About Your Mental Illness with Your Kids

father and daughters

One of the fears we have as parents is that by exposing our children to the reality of our brokenness (our fears, our shortcomings, and yes, even our mental illness), we’ll be unnecessarily burdening them. Nothing could be further from the truth. The following are four reasons why I’ve refused to let mental illness be […]

Mental Health Awareness is a Family Affair: A Brief Guide to Being Aware and Empathetic When a Loved One Has Depression

mother and teen daughter

As per a recent report published by Mental Health First Aid, mental health issues affect about 47 per cent of the adult population, 13 percent of children and 46 percent of teenagers each year. But unfortunately, only half of the affected people receive appropriate treatment, often due to the stigma attached to it. Researchers are […]

Simple Family Activities for a Child with Brain Injury: Ways to Prevent Depression and Anxiety

building blocks

When people get brain injuries, it is a delicate situation. It could lead to severe conditions such as memory loss. Brain trauma is especially heartbreaking when it happens to children. Thankfully, with modern medicine and medical procedures, kids can recover from injuries to the brain and lead a relatively normal life. Although it takes time, […]

Coping with New Parent Anxiety

pregnant couple

Being the Perfect Parent Congratulations, you have a new baby in your home! Now you are on center stage spotlighting your parenting skills for all the world to see. With each visitor to your home, the need to demonstrate your knowledge and skill of raising your child is important. Comments made by parents, relatives and visitors are […]

Preventing the Harmful Mental Health Effects Divorce Has on Children and Teens

teen reaction to divorce

When two people make the decision to get married and start a family, their intentions are likely to spend a life of bliss together. Unfortunately, love isn’t always the utopia we’d like it to be — marriage sometimes ends in divorce. When you make the decision to get divorced and you have teenagers, this can […]

Stressed-Out, Anxious, and Depressed on Campus – A Review of a New Guidebook for Parents on the Challenges of College for Today’s Emerging Adults

college stress

The Stressed Years of Their Lives: Helping Your Kid Survive and Thrive During Their College Years A review of the new book by Janet Hibbs, PhD, MFT and Anthony Rostain, MD, MA A depressed young adult named Nick lives at home with his parents, playing video games all night and rarely venturing outside of the […]

How Parents’ Divorce Impacts Children’s Mental Health

Effects of Divorce on Children's Mental Health

When parents decide to dissolve their marriage, the children can feel as if their universe has been turned upside down. So, what are the impacts of divorce on children’s mental, emotional, and physical health? While divorce is stressful to all kids, some children rebound or recover faster than others. The level of upset can vary […]

Helping Your Teen Get Back to Healthy Living after Experiencing a Sexual Assault

Helping Your Teen Get Back to Healthy Living after Experiencing a Sexual Assault

Rape and sexual assault are never the victim’s fault. It can feel that way, though. If your teen has been through sexual assault, this is an incredibly confusing and painful time for both of you. Victims often feel alone, ashamed, and scared. They may get flashbacks or nightmares, or feel haunted by the memory of […]

Teen Mental Health & Sleep: What’s the Connection?

Teen Mental Health

Sleep and mental health go hand in hand, especially when it comes to the mental and physical well-being of teenagers. Unfortunately, not enough teens across the country are getting the sleep they need. It’s recommended that teens get nine hours of restful sleep each night, but between 60% to 70% of teenagers in the United […]

How to Take Care of Elderly Parents with Mental Illness

elder care

Most seniors don’t seek treatment or even help because they view their mental changes as a natural part of aging or partly because they are ashamed of their condition. While it’s normal for elderly people to experience some level of forgetfulness, it’s important to seek professional help if they show obvious changes in behavior or […]

How to Help Your Child with an Eating Disorder

mother child support

An eating disorder is a huge problem for anyone, but it is so much more devastating when your child develops one. It can be a prelude to tragedy, considering that every 62 minutes a person dies as a consequence of this condition. Therefore, it is essential that you provide your child with treatment and support […]

Is Social Media Detrimental to Your Teen’s Mental Health?

teens on smartphones

Parents have always been concerned about the impact of technology on their children, and this is also the case with social media. In fact, the Family Online Safety Institute claims 43% of parents believe that the harmful effects of social media outweigh its benefits. Its link to mental health issues, in particular, has sparked a number of […]

How Parenting Instincts Can Go Wrong When it Comes to Raising a Child with Anxiety

mother and anxious child

When I was 9 years old, I was playing with friends in my backyard in Minnesota.  I was having a great time until I saw a dog running towards us.  I could see his owner in the distance, but this dog was loose and headed right for us.  To me, he was scary looking. I’d […]

4 Tips for Communicating With Your Anxious Child

mother and anxious child

Any parent knows the difficulties that arise when trying to communicate with your child, but frequently these challenges are only amplified when your offspring suffers from anxiety. You want to help your children as much as you can, but you also don’t want to say the wrong thing. If you are looking for better ways […]

Reduce Teen Anxiety in 35 Minutes: The Benefits of the Family Meal

family meal preparation

The teenage years can be a tumultuous time for many young people.  Dealing with growing bodies, the transition to middle or high school, and increased academic and social demands can make teens feel anxious about who they are and their ability to handle new challenges.  For most of us, anxiety is a familiar emotion that […]

What Do I Do if My Child Is Engaging in Self-Harm?

teen mental health

Learning that your child is engaging in self-harm might be one of the most frightening discoveries you can make as a parent. You would also not be alone. Across the country, the number of reported episodes of self-inflicted non-suicidal injuries among young people has seen a startling upswing in recent years. Today, data indicates that […]

Teen Depression and Anxiety: Mental Health Approaches to Calm Their Fears

depressed teen in hoody

Roughly 45 million American adults are living with mental illness every year. But adults aren’t the only ones dealing with these issues. Teens also grapple with illness such as anxiety and depression, and these conditions can make life even more difficult for individuals going through a transitional period of life. Depression The National Institute of […]

How to Provide a Positive Home Environment for Your Teen with Anxiety

How to Parent a Teenager with Anxiety

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 18.1% of the population each year. They’re the most common mental health disorders of children and adolescents, affecting young people at different times throughout development. Though anxiety is prevalent among the teenage population, there […]

5 Tips for Parenting a Child Struggling with Developmental Trauma

Developmental Trauma Disorder

A common parenting philosophy is to reward or punish children based on their behavior. This strategy has proven to be effective so often that it has become the natural approach to raising children for many. However, if you have a young adult child struggling with developmental trauma you might find this strategy ineffective or maybe […]

Failure to Launch Part 5: Before You Write the Eviction Letter – Laying the Groundwork for a Successful Transition to Independent Living for Your Young Adult

Failure to Launch

For the past few weeks, social media and the major news networks have been buzzing with a story about a New York couple who successfully sued to have their 30-year-old son evicted from their home. News outlets from Good Morning America to The New York Times are calling it a “real- life case of Failure […]

Mother’s Day 2018: Celebrating All the Moms Who Take Care of Family Mental Health

Anyone know what day of the year sees more phone traffic than any other? That’s right, Mother’s Day, which this year falls on May 13 in the United States. Calls on that day can rise by as much as 37%, as dutiful sons and daughters across the country get on the phone to convey something […]

4 Benefits of Mastering Inner Peace of Mind Through Meditation

In an age where everything is nearly instantaneous – food, movies, communication, etc. – you would think more time would be left to find an inner peace that so many are searching for. Unfortunately, for most, this tranquility is harder to find than ever, with more and more Americans reporting higher levels of stress than […]

5 Ways You Can Help Your Addict Child

When I was little, my mom used to make my siblings and I put on jackets whenever she felt cold, even if we weren’t cold at all. She didn’t want us to get sick, so, even though we lived in Southern California and it was barely ever chilly, she always made sure we were protected […]

Some Advice for Parents of Depressed Teens

When I was a teenager suffering from major depression, my parents tried their best to support me, yet ended up doing all the wrong things. This isn’t something they can be blamed for — understanding another person, even those closest to us, is difficult enough even when mental health issues don’t come into play. When […]

6 Things I Learned from Having a Daughter with Bipolar Disorder

My daughter is bipolar

My daughter is 14 years old, and was diagnosed for bipolar disorder with psychotic features when she was 11. The last three years have been the most difficult times I’ve experienced in my life. I grew up with a bipolar father, but with him the disease was on the periphery for me. With my daughter […]

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